- The Washington Times - Friday, April 23, 2021

Fox News personality Greg Gutfeld criticized himself and his colleagues Thursday, calling them “hypocrites” for opposing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while following some just the same.

Mr. Gutfeld made the remark during the most recent episode of “The Five,” a panel discussion show among numerous programs to have been retooled as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Previously filmed with its panelists sitting in the same room side by side, for months now the show has socially distanced its five co-hosts so that each participates from a different remote location.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is transmitted in droplets expelled when a person speaks, causing public health officials to urge practices such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

A number of Fox News personalities, including Mr. Gutfeld, among others, have challenged those recommendations made by medical professionals while abiding by some of them nonetheless, he noted.

“We are hypocrites when we are giving our own advice on this,” Mr. Gutfeld said on the show.

“Lecturing people on the science as we are sitting in our isolated boxes isn’t really correct,” he continued. “What message are we sending by being separate right now?”

Mr. Gutfeld said he believed all co-hosts of “The Five” have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and that he did not understand why they cannot return to filming the show together from the same location.

“There is no reason for us to be doing this all the time,” he said. “Unless it’s legal B.S., which is the case for everything in life. We are controlled by lawyers. Sorry.”

Individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can still contract it, however, and scientists are not sure yet how effective vaccines are with respect to reducing the transmission of the virus to others.

Not all co-hosts of “The Five” have been vaccinated against COVID-19 either, apparently. Dana Perino, one of the program’s regular panelists, said later in the show that she has not been vaccinated.

Another one of the co-hosts, Juan Williams, seemed to be unsure how to interpret Mr. Gutfeld‘s remarks.

“I didn’t see that it made any sense to me,” Mr. Williams said later in the show.

Broadcast since 2011, “The Five” switched from having its co-hosts appear in the Fox News studio to separate remote locations when the coronavirus pandemic first exploded in the U.S. last spring.

“The Five” returned to the studio setting in September with new safety measures in place, including adding several feet of space between the show’s co-hosts, socially distancing them from one another.

Mr. Williams tested positive for COVID-19 in November, however, and the show reverted back to the remote format shortly afterward.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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